One Window for Gondola Transit

Post by Steven Dale

Image by flickr user ztephen.

At some point during any long-haul flight, the cabin crew will shut off all the lights so everyone can try and get a few hours of precious (and desperately uncomfortable) sleep. To help the process, everyone closes their window shields to block out the sunlight.

But without fail, there’s always one person who leaves their window shield open to read, work or just plain look out the window. And that one single window illuminates the entire cabin, disturbing the darkness and making sleep impossibly difficult for most. You can’t escape it.

All it takes is one window to let the light in.

Medellin was cable transit’s one window. Now – at least in the English-speaking world – we’re searching for that second window.

And like on an airplane, we have no idea where that open window will be; how close we’ll be sitting to it; or who will be the one to open it.

But we know it’s going to happen.

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Want more? Purchase Cable Car Confidential: The Essential Guide to Cable Cars, Urban Gondolas & Cable Propelled Transit and start learning about the world's fastest growing transportation technologies.


  1. I hope & believe it will be Burnaby and the Greater Vancouver Regional District. I can not picture the SFU system being turned down. Once that is in place, there are so many other areas which people have been dreaming about for a gondola. Being a ski region, we are all familiar with them. Our Skytrain is laid out quite well to allow for spurs. And the price is great, the SFU system will cost $30m less for 3kms then 1km of above grade Skytrain or $80m less than tunnelling.
  2. Hmmm Burnaby is a step in the right direction, but I don't think it will be a fundamental turning point in the technologies thrust into the urban transit market. The problem with Burnaby is that it is still moving people between point A and B over difficult topography (a hill) - the same thing gondolas have done for centuries. In terms of turning points, I think the London Cable Car will do more in terms of sheer publicity and media coverage. But it still isn't the money shot! The money shot is full transport integration, turns, multiple stations, and no topographical challenges (apart from gridlocked cars)... where close, but no cigar!
  3. Yes but Burnaby may be a gateway to gondolas in the GVRD. The entire region is full of obstacles which make gondolas perfect for. There are many bus routes which have hills 10% grades which make them impassable in the winter. The entire region is full of rivers. Bridges are being upgraded at great expense. There are logical routes which could connect tow parallel sky train lines at the midpoints which could include stations at much needed places such as colleges. The one most talked about is from BC's busiest mall Metrotown to another busy mall Brentwood Town Centre with the BC Institute of Technology midpoint. To go from one mall to the other takes 18 minutes via skytrain + a seven minute wait. Being midpoint on the runs it is impossible to find a seat or at rush hours board the first train. To drive from one mall to the other, Google Maps lists it at 11 minutes, this is a very optimistic time due to traffic. As the crow (gondola) flies, it is 4k. BCIT is aprox 1/2 way. With the midpoint station the travel time could be <10. I suspect that they could use BDG for this line cutting the price. The street is quite wide so right of ways/privacy etc would not be an issue. The BCIT station could include a slight turn which would shorten the trip a bit and send the gondola over light industrial. There are a number number of skytrain routes which are slated for further expansion by 2030. Though I haven't done the math, they could probably do the entire expansion by gondola for the price of one skytrain expansion in less time than it takes to finish the first line. I believe once the Burnaby Mountain line is running, a number of municipalities will be saying "me too".

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